First Posted: 5/24/2013
(AP) Sixteen people were taken to the hospital Friday, at least two in serious condition, after they were hurt in a crash between a hotel shuttle bus and a tractor-trailer near Atlanta’s airport, officials said.
At about 10 a.m. College Park police received calls about the crash on the road that loops around the world’s busiest airport. It appears the shuttle struck the side of a tractor-trailer that was attempting a U-turn on the divided road, said Sgt. Keith Stanley.
The front of the bus was badly damaged. The windshield was cracked and it appeared to be significant damage to the engine block.
All 16 people in the crash were taken to area hospitals. Originally, a fire official said it was 18. The driver of the bus suffered multiple broken bones and had to be pulled from the wreckage by rescuers, Stanley said. None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening, he said.
A Grady Memorial Hospital spokeswoman said emergency personnel there are treating 10 people, eight with minor injuries and two serious. The other victims were taken to Atlanta Medical Center.
Police weren’t immediately releasing the names of the drivers or passengers.
Investigators haven’t had a chance to interview those in the crash because they were quickly taken to area hospitals, Stanley said. Marks on the road indicate the bus skidded about 158 feet immediately before the impact, he said.
“The vehicle was traveling at a good rate of speed,” he said.
Stanley says it wasn’t immediately clear whether any traffic laws were violated. He said the investigation will likely take several weeks.
It also wasn’t immediately known whether the bus was equipped with seat belts and, if so, whether passengers were wearing them, Stanley said.
Atlanta Fire Rescue Department spokeswoman Janet Ward said the bus served Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn and Hilton hotels and was headed to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that according to the markings on the bus, the shuttle was operated by MTI Limos. A call to the operations manager of the company was not immediately returned.
Overhead shots from WSB-TV show the shuttle ran into the left side of the trailer that was stretched across the road.
Shuttles are a common sight at the airport, operated by hotels and off-airport parking services.
Associated Press writer Kate Brumback contributed to this report from Atlanta.